Both sides in a pay dispute involving hundreds of aircraft maintenance staff agreed yesterday to return to the negotiating table. Employees returned to work last night once their employer, the Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (Haeco), agreed to resume talks after a three-day strike. 'As proof of our sincerity, after they notified us in the afternoon that senior managers will meet us to continue negotiations, our workers will return to work on their night shifts,' Haeco Employee Union representative Lee Ho-leung said. Haeco spokesman Andrew Herdman said general manager (line maintenance) Bobby Lam Ping-fai would represent the company at today's meeting, scheduled for 10am at Haeco's Chek Lap Kok headquarters. 'All sides involved will be allowed to air their views and I am sure those involved in the industrial action will make their views felt in the meeting,' he said. Up to 400 workers staged a sit-in for three days at the airport departure hall, while dozens tried to block company buses from carrying staff to work. The dispute centres on a proposed cut in overtime allowances of up to 16 per cent. Strikers say their base salaries are low and that between 50 and 60 per cent of their income comes from overtime. The union has suggested cuts in benefits such as dental insurance and children's scholarships but say any real cost cuts should concentrate on restructuring and simplifying management. Haeco, which is the territory's largest aircraft maintenance company and is controlled by Cathay Pacific and Swire Pacific, employs 3,300 maintenance workers and handles an average of 300 aircraft a day. It claims the allowance cut was approved by the Works Consultative Committee, an elected staff representative body, and that the strikers represent only a minority, a claim the union has disputed. Airlines remained confident the dispute would not affect operations.